A while back I briefly mentioned that the Boy had potty trained himself and I’d be writing about it presently so, here I am writing about it now.
As may, or may not, be common knowledge, I am a first class procrastinator. Truly, I have elevated the practice of “why do it today when I can do it tomorrow” to a fine art, you only need see my desk to believe it. So true to form, though I knew I should get my three-year old potty trained, I just saw no reason to start immediately… and well, for once in my life procrastination actually paid off.
You see, many of my friends had been on my case cause my kid was still in diapers and I was bothered not one bit. He’ll have to go to preschool soon they’d say (they start at three here, and though it’s not mandatory the majority of children go), kids don’t potty train themselves, it’s your job, you need to get a move on…
It got to the point that even I started feeling the pressure of just getting the job done.
So, a few weeks back I decided that as soon as the weather got warmer I would start the stupid potty training. I figured I could just leave him in shorts all day outside and he’d end up getting annoyed at constantly getting wet so he’d spontaneously learn to control himself. Yes, I’m all about minimizing costs and maximizing returns. I half-heartedly read a few books on the subject, I even got the boy a book for kids on potty training, and I must have mentioned to him in passing that we’d be taking the diapy off “soon” and he’d go pee-pee like a big boy in the potty.
He didn’t seem too interested and I was clearly unmotivated, but he’d be going to preschool in September and I had recently heard of a mother who six months into it still hadn’t gotten her kid to go consistently on the potty and that kind of scared me as I didn’t want the Boy to have to possibly endure a hard time at preschool due to his mother’s character flaws.
And then, lo and behold, one morning the Boy just looks up at me as I’m dressing him and says: “no diapy today mama, I want Spiderman underwear” (in a mix of Italian and English, I’m simplifying for you). My initial reaction was, god no, it’s still kind of chilly out, I don’t want him to pee on the couch or the carpets. But then the mothering instinct took over (thankfully) and I thought, well I really can’t prevent him from foregoing the diaper if he really wants to, that would be bad. So after ascertaining that he was absolutely, positively sure he wanted to wear his Spiderman underwear and not the Lighting McQueen training diapers I had bought for just such an occasion, and making him go pee on the potty twice (he didn’t, apparently he simply didn’t need to) we left for daycare and that, my friends, was that.
Since that fateful day he has had a grand total of three accidents (none on the furniture I might add) and he now does all his business in the potty, with minimal assistance and prodding on my part. I basically limit myself to reminding him to go potty when we’re getting in the car cause I honestly want to avoid that whole possible mess and that’s the extent of my involvement.
It simply could not have been any easier, or frankly more surprising. Who would’ve thought that my chronic procrastination would’ve worked as a stimulus to my kid to hurry up and grow up already, all on his own.
And, the Girl, who is only eighteen months old, now always wants to use the potty when I change her diaper and half the time she’s perfectly dry and does all her business in the potty too. I mean really, could I possibly be doing any less work here?
All this to say, laziness in parenting is not always a problem, sometimes it’s a blessing and it could teach your children independence to boot. Definitely a win-win in my book!
p.s. he still wears diapers at night, I’m not a miracle worker!
p.p.s. I realize that now that I’ve written all this in a mildly self-congratulatory tone, something will happen to revert this entire situation and come September you’ll find me crying knee deep in diapers. But I guess that’s fodder for a whole ‘nother post on hubris.
p.p.p.s. I apologize for the overly enthusiastic use of italics in this post.